Tuesday, August 9, 2011

South Africa - Blog #4

Describe in 100 words how the planning process in South Africa has contributed both to entrenching apartheid and offering a way of helping those who suffered under that regime.


  1. jjof001 Jethro 4893213

    apartheid planning was used in south africa to completely seperate out entire peoples,black townships were were essentially fenced off away from major cities in places like the transkei, and suffered hugley from lack of investment and development particularly when it comes to infrastructure. Apartheid policies also extorted the segregated population in that 6 month working visas for example were provided for township residents to work as cheap labour in major South African cities and then booted out afterward, when the system had got what it wanted from them. Since apartheid ended planning has shifted in another direction to help to provide basic housing and infrastructure to the millions who had suffered during apartheid, extensive investment by the World Bank and Government have been given to develop completely new towns over the past 15-20 years, although the effects of the complete oppression of health,education, infrastructure and political power will take exponantially longer to overcome. Opening up borders for alot of exiled South Africans has resulted in terrible problems for urban environments dealing with unemployment, health and extensive crime. On another note in Johanesburg,SA's largest urban population, gangs take entire apartment buildings hostage, and essentially productivity has shifted to the suburbs in many south african cities, as the CBD's do not function. This is an interesting link: http://deathofjohannesburg.blogspot.com/

  2. so are you saying theres no future for south africa planning? taken over by gang? like the mafia wars in italy back in the 50s? ZULU4LIFE

  3. wsiu007
    The example of South Africa evokes the idea of the 'dark side' of planning as well as drawing parallels to Israeli practices as explored by Yiftachel. Personally, it seems to highlight the neutrality of planning as a force for social change. Here, we see what we can assume to be rational individuals enacting policies which are, for all intents and purposes, the antithesis of the democratic and ethical approaches of planning practices. This highlights the importance of politics and power in determining as to how and why planners act the way they do. Subsequently, this forces us to question whether normative theories of planning practice which are negligent of such factors can indeed be useful.

  4. The key planning instrument that has been introduced to South Africa in the last 15ish years is the Integrated Development Plan (IDP). This is a model of integration that the different municipalities have been required to set up in their regions that seeks to create a greater form of public participation in governance and creating a shift from planning being a profession towards being a 'societal activity' (Harrison, P. 2008).
    This greater form of participation through IDPs looks at the unequal distribution of resources throughout South Africa that was experienced through the apartheid and looks to mitigate this and improve how they are distributed now, 'IDPs, with their links to budgeting, have assisted in directing resources towards areas of disadvantage and deprivation, while participatory processes have alerted local councils to areas of special need' (Harrison, P. 2008)

  5. Gsti009 4910474

    The apartheid was primarily a British construct involving separating colored people from whites in South Africa. This process was entrenched by the planning process of zoning, however unlike the zoning of activities, people were zoned. This included zoning 80% of the population into 13% of the country's area and zoning areas for coloured people nearby to urban centers so the whites could exploit them as cheap labour.

    On the converse planning is now being used to integrated people. After the somewhat failure of integrated development plans (IDP), spatial development plans (SDPs) were implemented to supplement these. The SDPs focused on shifting investment rather than the people (who remained weary of one another), resulting in a whole neighborhood revival system.

    I just found out UN habit has been using IDPs and SDPs in other parts of Africa, see http://www.unhabitat.org/content.asp?cid=7114&catid=234&typeid=13&subMenuId=0

  6. ytap002 - Yasmin 1247099

    The British originally established apartheid planning in order to control the economy and maximise the use of resources. This planning system operated due to the Dutch and English beliefs that they can maximise the use of land better than the natives can. Apartheid planning resulted in many loss experienced by the natives such as property rights taken away from then and string segregation in the society between the powerful whites and poor black Africans.

    The reinvention of planning system in South Africa in the present era, such as the adoption of Integrated Development Plans (IDP) has marked the move of planning culture to becoming more strategic, participatory and integrated. The IDP is seen to share strong similarities with many other international planning practices including New Zealand’s integrated planning performance monitoring with its focus to join up central and local government planning, the promotion of participatory governance, service delivery partnerships and rational budgeting. In June 2002, the IDP for the Metropolitan City of Johannesburg was launched with its overarching vision promotes a “world-class city with service deliverables and efficiencies that meet world best practice” and ensuring city economy operates on a global scale (Friedmann, 2005). This is an ambitious planning objective to help those suffered from the previous apartheid planning system as the current number of still poor and unskilled people poses great challenges for planners to achieve this IDP objective.

  7. chanel Hargrave char215August 15, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    The IDPs put in place since the election of the ANC have aimed to help the disadvantaged that suffered under the apartheid system. The goal of these IDPs is to overcome the legacy of apartheid, foster public participation in the planning system and allocate resources in a system that was not previously set up to deal with the poor and disadvantaged. While the IDPs aim for an integrated planning system there are some criticisms to this regime which include,
    an arguement that suggests the IDPs reinforce the divisions of the apartheid system as they work primarily to benefit the most disadvantage. This has lead to white flight from South Africa and some groups of people finding it hard to be promoted in jobs. For example an Indian South African family friend left SA and came to NZ because he found it difficult to get a job as a teach as the system prefered coloured teachers.
    The IDP is taking too long to get coloured people into positions of importance, such as running businesses.
    Issues of participation - how to integrate the community into a system that had previously failed them.

  8. Elements of spatial planning were used to enforce racial segregation policies in South Africa. Normally spatial planning is used as a method of controlling the distribution of activities within a country or region, however in South Africa spatial planning was used to control the distribution and locations of “coloured people” and white people. Spatial Planning established homelands for the coloured population of South Africa, in time these homelands grew their own culture and community spirit, which helped those oppressed by the apartheid regime. Homelands created a place for disenfranchised people to connect with each other and create some sense of community.

    Rhezza Layco

  9. When the government signals it wants to entrench apartheid than it is obvious that all forms of processes will also entrench apartheid. Planning helped through the systemic separation and fragmentation of blacks from whites through the development of reserves in rural lands, while the planning system, post apartheid, has helped through trying to integrate both blacks and whites as well as trying to provide basic services to people.

    Steven Sanson
    ssan075 1264497

  10. The planning system is South Africa is inherited from British, therefore it is focus on the benefits of white people but black people as a majority of this country. The apartheid planning under this system separate the white and "coloured" people by zoning, which leads to urban sprawl. People in these different zonings produced their own cultural and lifestyle, which is incompatible with their neighbours who share the same land. Also, the differential treatments in many cases such as education and employment is one of the reason that caused this situation.

    Today, the IDP is trying to achieve intergrate planning and to help people who suffered under the apartheid system. However, there are still some limitations existing in this planning programme, which are: lack of fanicial support from white people, lack of professional and experienced planners and governors and increased public participation that cannot lead to a good outcome.

    Yiwei Zou 1005356

  11. One thing that South Africa makes very clear about planning is that it is a powerful social tool. By using 'spatial planning' in such a way as to plan human occupation (as opposed to land use) planning became a high level tool for enforcing the apartheid regime. By making the separation of whites and coloured peoples the norm, the idea becomes so engrained in society that the average person becomes indifferent to the situation. On the other hand planning is now showing its importance in the integration of South Africa. Planning has a role in the provision of important infrastructure to many large communities that have previously gone with out. It also has a role in fostering interactions between communities that while close geographically are socially isolated from each other.
    Samuel Foster 1231978 sfos028

  12. Simon Andrew

    The authorisation of South African apartheid law in the mid 1900’s standardized racial discrimination and had major effects on almost all aspects of one’s social life. The act required that all South Africans be categorised into groups, determined purely by race. While this placed restrictions on interracial marriage, resulted in a loss of property rights and even endorsed the idea of ‘white only’ jobs, it also controlled the distribution of white and coloured peoples. Rural black communities in South Africa developed their own unique way of life, based on shared ownership and a shared sense of community spirit.

    However, the dawn of Integrated Development Plans indicated the reinvention of planning systems and an attempt to overcome issues of the past, issues that lace South African society to this very day. It is a planning approach that involved greater citizen participation, as well as decision making that is more strategic and integrated in order to find the best means of achieving sustainable, long term development for all citizens.

  13. David dpan032 4616910August 15, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    David Pan

    racial segregation in south africa in the late 40s/50s ended in the late 80s. this resulted in a fragmented and segregated spatial planning in SA. the IDP evolved from compact city/new urbanism. IDP ensures an integrated, strategic and participatory planning for the new SA, thus allowing black and white people to work together and to voice the concern of black people, allows black people to participate in the planning, thus more integrated planning process. the spatial development frameworks focused on spatial co-ordination of investment rather than land use. the new planning process for SA should get the community more involved, with the support of the government

  14. The Integrated Development Plan (IDP) is sought to bring more participatory and integrated ways of working. It attempts to remove racial separation and inequality that was present in the previous planning system. However, there are immense complexities involved in undoing the effects of apartheid (Harrison et. al, 2008). Separation still exists in nations such as South Africa between coloured and white people. The shift of planning and political thinking is important to move towards a new direction, but it will also take time to achieve more cohesive societies. There are values and perceptions deeply embedded in the different groups of people in South Africa. These will not easily change, especially as apartheid has been such a present concept in South Africa’s history.


  15. IDPs or Integrated Development Plans were established in South Africa so that the local government will be more strategic and participatory. It aimed at dealing with the spatial distortions and problems that were generated by the apartheid. However, it couldn’t be done in a snap of a finger and the transition from an apartheid era to democracy isn’t easy. South Africa has a good system but it’s not well implemented. Racial segregation, poverty and inequality still exist but with the help of spatial planning and IDPs, a more participatory approach was developed and encouraged so that the needs of the people and local communities are recognised to have a more inclusive decision-making process.

    Angela Taganahan (atag007)

  16. yma066 Tommy Ma 4892202

    I think that the planning regime in south africa through both the entrenchment and disollution of Apartheid has created and fostered very seperate and divisioned communities and development. During apartheid one example of how this regime was entrenched was through policies that related to racial segregation of development, for exmaple the establishment of invisible borders/homelands which confined a people by race, and limited funding and development of these areas. Additionally the opposite can be said about disestablishing apartheid in that 'seperate but equal' type policy aimed at advancing the demographics that were disadvantaged during apartheid in new government policy, people of colour have been promoted into higher political and corperate jobs, fostering segregation once again. This can be compared to the new zealand planning paradigm in which maori and pacific islanders are considered differently under national policy in terms of things, like university entrance and social benefit funds.

  17. As in most countries the planning system is largely influenced by the political system and the two spheres can be hard to analyse in isolation. For example was the spatial relocation of blacks into designated "group areas" a political or planning issue? One of the most significant planning laws passed in South Africa is the 'Group Areas Act 1950' which ended mixed race neighborhoods and further entrenched spatial segregation and the ideologies behind the apartheid. This created an environment where black communities were perceived as poor, crime filled areas threatening white health and safety.

    Since the end of the Apartheid it seems to have reemerged in the form of positive discrimination of promoting blacks over whites. I know many South Africans that have immigrated to New Zealand because they have struggled in the new system which tries to address the wrongs of the past by promoting black interests over white.

    Andrew Moore 1197247

  18. Planning in South Africa illustrated the powerful nature of planning as a social tool which in the past created a society zoned and segregated around race. Today planning in South Africa has begun to change with the introduction of Integrated Development Plans, which look to involve citizens in the planning process whilst providing important infrastructure both in the social and physical realms. This development of IDP's is seen as a move away from reactive planning and towards a development oriented society. Although this change in planning systems have been critised for the lack of addressing large scale issues including health and spatial divide between races it is a step towards effective integrated planning and away from the apartheid era. It is evident within this example that the support of government is crucial to the future success of planning in South Africa.

    Charlotte Belsham, 1195495, cbel063

  19. Whilst South Africa is considered to have one of the best planning systems that enables integrated, compact and sustainable urban settlements, allowing people the chance to participate in decision-making as well as greater opportunities for the black or ‘coloured’ community to strengthen their lifestyles, in reality this system is in its own right has also strengthened apartheid.
    The irony is that, this system has suddenly been implemented after years of a society being run under an apartheid system of segregating blacks and whites. As a result, people have become use to a system that has dominated for more than 20 years. How can people be expected to change so rapidly and so drastically? After being segregated for so long, people have been forced to adapt their lifestyles to this system.
    Therefore, this new system of integrating communities has ultimately entrenched apartheid because communities have become stuck: they are not able to or not prepared to be integrated. Local governments do not have the resources, experience (in dealing with integrated communities) to adapt to this change. Corruption has also strengthened the apartheid system and communities are less inclined to trust decision-makers. So, a change in legislation that is supposedly designed to create a more equitable system has not been able to play out in reality due to the circumstances outlined in this entry.

  20. Forgot to add name: Georgia Sanders, 4963525

  21. Jessica Chen 4915451

    The apartheid system in South Africa was enforced through a variety of planning and social policies that deepened racial segregation throughout the country. Policies such as the forced resettlement of establish populations and policies on limited education, employment and migration enabled a white minority government to remain in power for so many years. Even though black South Africans make up more than 70% of the total population and provide most of the labour, they remained too poor to contribute significantly to the economy through their purchasing power (as a result of restricted employment and wage opportunities). This contributed to the cycle of poverty that was experienced by most black South Africans under the rule of apartheid.
    When the first democratic election was held in 1994, it was a celebrated achievement for Civil Rights. However, the transition from the previously oppressive governance system to the newly democratic and fair system is challenging. Planners now need to consider ways in which to enable South Africans who were living in an informal economy to integrate into a formal dollar economy. Firstly, the focus of planners should be on satisfying immediate physical and social infrastructure needs such as affordable housing, healthcare, higher education and education for all, transport links between rural and urban areas, and food security.
    The major logistical issue is the question of funding. The South African government, like many governments around the world, rely on a rating system to fund public projects. As previously mentioned, with many black and coloured South Africans in poverty and working in an informal economy, it is difficult to tax them for public services. The newly established Integrated Development Plans are effective planning tools for empowering all South Africans; however, the costs of these plans have not been established.
    South Africa is still experiencing the growing pains of a young democracy and I think that the best way forward is to continue working with international aid agencies to understand local governance and how public participation helps communities become more self-sufficient.

  22. Even though apartheid was to supposed to control economic and social systems, it became the dominant way of maintaining white domination and separating black and coloured people from them. Eventually it lead to social issues such as prohibiting the marriage between non-whites and whites, white only jobs and non-black areas.

    The introduction of homelands meant that Africans became aliens in their own country as they needed passports to enter South Africa and had no right to the South African parliament.

    Adoption of statutory Integrated Development Plan (IDP) was to provide a framework for social and economic development by eradicating developments of the past. It is a planning process that makes decisions on key issues such as budgets, land management, local economic development and institutional transformation. It provides a shift in thinking of a new direction where black and white are not separated, however as Georgia has pointed out, it is a difficult shift to make. Habits are hard to change not everyone wants to change, even if it is for the better because they don’t have the ability.

    Tin Lo, 1066001

  23. While apartheid may have ended decades ago, racism still exists in formal channels. Referring back to Wayne’s use of the ‘dark side’ of planning, an article I’ve read described how formal political and planning activities tried to evict an entire slum village from the side of a major highway leading in to Cape Town. Obviously that didn’t go down too well and the residents took a stand by creating ‘sidewalk communities’ as they weren’t allowed back in to their homes. Even with a worldwide knowledge of the conditions within South Africa, the government is still eager to hide the evidence of segregation from the world when they come to visit.

    Alternatively, I have read that attempts to reinvigorate town centres in Johannesburg have become more successful lately with employment and urban design projects leading the way, but these are mostly focused on peripheral centres, leading to further decline of the CBD. I can understand the ideology behind the IDP, but there are many shortcomings in the planning process as a whole which I believe is restricting the implementation of these.

    Anthony Blomfield

  24. I have experienced that planning in post-apartheid South Africa in many parts of the country has the focus on providing basic services and vital infrastructure such as clean water and electricity to many communities. This can be compared to the period in London when communities were trying to recover from the post-industrial slum period.

    However, a city such as Cape Town has had many successful initiatives in utelising its natural and physical resources to create a global tourism attraction and a successful waterfront city, with events such as the soccur world cup in 2010 infiltrating beneficial economic growth to facilitate and promote sustainable growth initiatives.

    In contrast, Johannesburg CBD is still struggling with great social dilemmas. (As previously mentioned by Jethro in an earlier post) Building hi-jackings by gangs have resulted that the CBD has become a place so dangerous that most of the population would avoid this area in fear of their life. It is a tragedy that communities are still living in fear. I found this documentary very insightful, it is quite long, but gives a clear representation of the reality of the current situation. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7pwwp_louis-theroux-law-and-disorder-in-j_news

    Nadia de Coning

  25. As a result of apartheid living, the people in South Africa were divided into several distinct racial groups – whites, blacks, coloured and Indian. This led to the racial segregation of people, such as through “white only” places or providing poorer social services to non-whites.

    Through the use of Integrated Development Plans (IDP), South Africa has aimed to integrate their towns and cities, which have been left racially and socially divided as a result from apartheid living. These plans aim to help local communities through effectively managing scarce resources and funds at the local level. They also aim to integrate rural and urban areas and to extend services to the poor.

    For more on IDPs and what they aim to do, check out http://www.etu.org.za/toolbox/docs/localgov/webidp.html.

    Sarah Wong

  26. The planning processes that were used in South Africa to introduce and maintain the apartheid was a reflection of the interconnectedness of political perspectives within the planning context. The apartheid was a direct result of the political culture within the system which allowed white-South Africans to create a legal form of segregation. The legality of segregation reflects how the planning process was used as a tool to entrench the apartheid regime because it was ‘legal.’ However, as history has indicated, which is supported by many theorists like Mark Considine, is that policies often have ‘black swan’ consequences, in the sense that it was the number of patterns formed by the various segregation policies that caused an ‘tipping point’ to be reached. This then aided those who suffered to rise up in large numbers and bring about a non-racial democracy.

    I found it interesting how we discussed planning issues associated with the transition into this ‘non-racial democracy’ and how some would not want to change their lifestyles because they became accustomed to it. It is more interesting to see how the social barriers will be overcome, either in this generation or the next and whether the social barriers between black and white South Africans can be altered anytime soon.

    Jayesh Parekh (jpar378)

  27. It is unfortunate that the vestiges of apartheid still shape South African Politics and society, but with the enforcement of Integrated Development Plans (IDP), planning in South Africa now focuses on integrating those that were once separate.

    Apartheid living has been engraved into society for the 46ish years it was running. This is a very strong attitude that planning now battles against. So to think that all that can be changed with the implementation of the IDP is naive, but it is the first step.

    Hannah Good

  28. Under the former apartheid Government there was segregation amongst communities within South Africa which saw non whites experiencing discrimination and exclusion. An example of legislation that supported the apartheid is the “Group Areas Act 1950” which excluded all non-whites from living in developed areas and required them to present passes if they were to enter into white only zones. Planning processes within South Africa have shifted however and Integrated Development Plans now “direct resources towards areas of disadvantage and deprivation,” (Harrison 2008). While these integrated development plans offer a way of helping those who suffered under the former system, there is still much to be done to undo the effects of the apartheid, (Harrison 2008).

    Shilpa Maharaj

  29. to my understanding apartheid is policy which is designed to subjugate and isolate a part of population within a country, under this regime the coloured people within the country are treated like second rate citizens. the reason for it to last so long maybe that people are content to just live life rather than challenge the authority and faces retaliation, this mindset is seen in many colonies, and as a result the coloniser is able to establish a strong foothold before the population getting upset by their unfair treatments. While growing internal and international pressure forced the government to abandon apartheid. Planning wise, new policies reflecting the changing stance of South Africa government would play a major role in eliminating apartheid in the surface at least. however racial tension still exist in South Africa, and all over the world, and i think it need a paradigm shift of the general public to not see differences in skin colour to truly eliminate racial segregation.

    Fengqiao Han
    ID: 4596921

  30. Apartheid in South Africa has long history and inveteracy. Planning in there has largely failed to materially address large-scale issues, such as life quality, spatial divide between different colored people etc. To entrench apartheid and offer a way of helping those who are under the regime, , South Africa has contributed variance approaches in terms of planning process, such as redesigning landscape, restricting political policies and development plans. One of the most effective approaches is the Integrated Development Plans. It includes spatial planning, urban management and human settlement tradition. The main theme of Integrated Development Plans is to joined-up planning between different parts of government, rational budgeting, and service delivery partnerships and participatory governance.

    Hui Yin
    ID: 1159929

  31. During the apartheid period in SA, the British constructed the planning tool of ‘zoning’ to organise people according to the colour of their skins, rather than to zone activities, as this was thought to be a better way of maximising the use of land and resources, access to mineral wealth, and cheap labour. The process left a legacy in the country that is still evident today, resulting in several ‘gated’ and segregated communities. The planning process that was developed once apartheid ceased, to help amend former spatial planning consequences and those affected by the regime began with the introduction of IDPs in SA. This principally enforced the quality integration of, people into wider communities, as well as local government with central government as many developed countries practise. The main challenge for SA planning is to eradicate the ‘mindset’ that apartheid left with the people so the rest can be implemented to further improve the planning framework.

    Deanne D’souza (ID: 1072559)